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Top 10 Reasons for Choosing ECEE at CU

10. The quality of life in Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder is located in a spectacular setting in a state known for its year-round beauty. If you are an active, outdoor person, this is the place for you.

Boulder has been ranked the "Most Educated City in America" by Forbes Magazine, one of the "Best Cities for Cycling" by Bicycling Magazine, and one of the top "Cities with a High Percentage of Workers Employed in High-Tech Work" by the American Electronics Association.

The Boulder lifestyle has made our city one of the most unique and desired places to live in the western United States.

9. The quality of our students, past and present.

A substantial number of our graduates have gone on to work in upper levels of high tech companies; many have started their own companies or have pursued highly-successful consulting careers.

8. Certificate programs.

The ECEE Department has three certificate programs available to undergraduate students: Embedded Systems, Power Electronics, and Software Engineering. Each certificate program consists of three specialized courses which provide in-depth education in areas of particular importance to high tech industries. These courses may be taken as electives and may not require additional credit hours above the standard 128 hours needed for graduation.

7. Concurrent BS/MS program.

Our BS/MS program makes it possible for qualified undergraduate students to begin work on a master's degree while completing the requirements for a bachelor's degree.

There are several advantages to the program, including counting up to six credit hours toward both degrees, potentially reducing tuition in the last year, and access to teaching and/or research assistantships.

6. Study abroad programs

A special opportunity to broaden students' cultural and technical horizons is available through several study abroad programs.

The Department works with students interested in studing at foreign universities to make the courses they take fit into their ECEE curriculum.

Programs have been established with universities in Australia, Chile, Coast Rica, Egypt, England, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

5. Summer internships.

Many students are offered summer internships at locally and nationally. Some students have internships as early as the summer after freshman year; a variety of opportunities become available the further a student advances in the curriculum.

4. The quality of our programs

According to US News and World Report, our Electrical Engineering program is ranked 29th nationally, 18th among public universities, and is the highest ranked EE program in the state of Colorado. Our Electrical and Computer Engineering program is ranked 35th nationally, 20th among public universities, and is the only ranked ECEE program in the state of Colorado. The College of Engineering and Applied Science is ranked 18th among public undergraduate engineering programs nationwide (America's Best Colleges, 2005).

3. Hands-on learning environment

The number of lab courses, required and elective, in our programs are among the highest in the country. Our students confirm that the hands-on laboratory component, which reinforce concepts learned in lecture, make a huge difference in understanding those concepts.

Industry recruiters who hire our students value the skills that lab hours have sharpened and enhanced (see the comment from a recruiter in reason #1 below).

Our students participate in college- and campus-wide programs.

  • Many of our students receive UROP funds to support their work in faculty research labs or their work on senior design projects.
  • There are opportunities to work on multi-disciplinary teams through the Space Grant Consortium, housed in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences.
  • The College of Engineering sponsors active learning opportunities through its Discovery Learning Center for programs in research, service, or professional learning.
  • These programs, along with our curriculum, add valuable real-world experiences which enrich and enhance classroom learning.

    2. The quality of our faculty

    Distinguished Professor Frank Barnes is a member of the highly select National Academy of Engingineering. Professor Barnes, is also a recipient of the prestigious Bernard Gordon Prize, awarded by the National Academy.

    In addition, seven of our faculty are Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, three are Fellows of the Optical Society of America, and one is a Fellow of SPIE.

    The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is the world's largest technical society with over 360,000 members in 150 countries. Professor Michael Lightner was President of IEEE in 2006.

    Our faculty of 38 tenured or tenure-track members plus two full-time senior instructors and several adjunct and adjoint professors provide a student to faculty ratio of around 10 to 1. Courses are taught by those faculty, instructors, and adjunct professors; TA's are employed only in laboratory sections.

    1. Career opportunities for our graduates

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical, electronics, and computer engineers make up the largest branch of engineering. They are found in professional, scientific, and technical services firms, government agencies, manufacturers of computer and electronic products and machinery, wholesale trade, communications, and utilities firms.

    On the CU-Boulder campus, recruiters request interviews with electrical engineering and computer engineering graduates in numbers several times those of other majors, even other engineering majors.

    The average starting salary of CU ECE bachelor's graduates are $59,979 for electrical engineers, and $64,303 for computer engineers -- the highest in the College of Engineering.

    A corporate manager recently reported, "Currently I am in charge of new graduate engineering recruiting for the Boulder office. I have been able to tour many colleges across the US and view their engineering programs. When comparing CU-Boulder to the local universities, I can say that we have been very successful with recruiting at CU. On the other hand, we have given up recruiting from any of the other local universities. The main difference is that CU prepares the new graduates with real world experience, via labs, that more closely match what we need. Your main competition from our perspective is University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Purdue, University of Texas-Austin, and Michigan."